Act 3: Zofia Castle – Forest Crossroads

Zofia Castle

Scholarly Man: I am a researcher unearthing shocking new truths from Zofia’s history. …Or I very well might be, if I had any of the resources I needed. Might I ask your help in this matter? You are familiar with the underground cemetery at the Deliverance hideout? Well, at one corner of that site lies the royal grave where Zofia’s kings sleep. At the risk of sounding grave-robby, I desire the Lima Armlet from it. But the place is crawling with Terrors, and I…am not the Terror type. Yet those Terrors are drawn to riches. It’s said they raid the graves for gold. One may drop the armlet I require. Bring it to me and I’ll pay you well!

(If you show him the Lima Armlet)

Scholarly Man: Ah! The Lima Armlet! Precisely as the records describe it… It bears the royal emblem of the late king himself. If I can translate this inscription, it may even offer up new insights. Er, pardon me for getting so excited. I’m only eager to return to work. This isn’t a huge sum, but please, take it. You’ve done me a great service.

(If you refuse)

Scholarly Man: Wa…What? No, please! What will become of my poor, beleaguered research?!

(If you don’t have it)

Scholarly Man: Oh, you don’t have it. And here I got my scholarly hopes up…

(If you talk again)

Scholarly Man: How goes your investigation of the underground cemetery?

(After completing the above sub-quest)

Young Man: There’s a strange old man I’ve not seen before hanging about the throne room. There’s something not right about him. Almost like he’s some manner of ghost.

Eerie Hermit: I have long stood watch over this castle and its masters… But some fool has violated the grave where Zofia’s monarchs lie. They’ve broken the seal, and now a massive fiend has made its home there. It sullies the site with its foul presence, barring the fallen kings from slumber. I ask this of you, warrior—rid their holy tomb of this blight!

(Once you have the Royal Shield)

Eerie Hermit: Fine work, child of fate. You have proven your strength. My master, too, has acknowledged you as worthy to inherit the kingdom. That royal shield is your proof. Use it well. And know that my master and I will watch over you always.

(If you talk again)

Eerie Hermit: You must destroy the beast that has made its home in the royal grave.

(After completing the above sub-quest)

Young Man: Mmm? Where did the strange old man who was in here go? I wonder who he actually was…?

Lord Rion: It’s over… All over…. There’s nothing to be done!

Lord Rion: I am the eldest son of the Rion family, one of Zofia’s oldest houses. But that dog Desaix demanded we give him our greatest heirloom—a shield. The Rion Shield was a gift from Queen Zofia I, passed down ever since. If I can’t find some way to recover it, my ancestors’ legacy will be lost. The Deliverance is marching on Desaix’s fortress, is it not? If you chance to find the Rion Shield, please see it returned to me. You will be rewarded handsomely, of course. I thank you in advance.

(If you give him the Rion Shield)

Lord Rion: Yes… Yes! This is our family shield! You have my thanks! And here, a token of that gratitude.

Lord Rion: Now that I’ve recovered the shield, I must be heading home.

(If you refuse)

Lord Rion: What is your intent in this? Why would you play at such a game?

(If you talk again)

Lord Rion: Please recover the Rion Shield. I cannot bear to return home without it!

(If you give him the Fugue Shield)

Lord Rion: This shield bears the crest of the Fugue family—our sworn enemies! A pox on those dastards! Even looking upon this sets my blood to boil!

Nothern Zofia

Ally Soldier: Sir Alm! Our scouts have spied Rigelian forces up ahead!

Alm: …… …Then the battle begins here.

Lukas: So it seems. The fights ahead will be nothing like our skirmishes in the south. You’ve wounded Rigel’s pride, and they will strike back without mercy. But the spirit of Zofia demands you prevail. There’s no turning back now.

Alm: I know.

Fernand: There you are, whelp. I thought you’d never arrive.

Alm: Wait a second…

Clive: Fernand?! You march beneath Rigel’s standard now?

Fernand: Does that really surprise you, Clive? You and the Deliverance took all I believed in and trod it into the mire. In Rigel, they still have ideals worth upholding.

Clive: Damn you, Fernand! Listen to yourself!

Fernand: My king is dead. My country fallen. But I’ll not hand this land over to you. Now, it is the Rigelian Empire’s turn. Lord Berkut shall lead us and unite Valentia under one noble order!

(Clive and Fernand exchange blows)

Clive: Come to your senses, Fernand! You have always fought for your motherland—for Zofia!

Fernand: Only one of us has lost his senses, Clive.

Clive: What?

Fernand: Allow me to enlighten you. That boy you have been parading around as your new hero? He was never Mycen’s grandson.

Clive:  What is this folly?

(Their fighting ends)

Fernand: …Oh, I can assure you it is no folly. My source has known Sir Mycen for years. The old knight has no family. Heh. Perhaps he made some orphan his ward so he wouldn’t have to die alone.

Clive: You lie… And yet there is the matter of what the old man at the castle said…

Fernand: Ha ha ha! Oh, Clive. You’ve become the very picture of absurdity. Once you were a man to whom the lineage of our noble houses meant all. But now you take for your future king a boy you don’t know from a gutter rat!

Clive: ……

(Versus Fernand)

Fernand: Come at me. Surely you detestable vermin don’t think you can stand against a true nobleman?

(Fernand defeated)

Fernand: Nnngh… I have…no choice… I must fall back…and rejoin Lord Berkut in the main force…

(Versus Zaxon)

Zaxon: You don’t look half as scared as you ought. Don’t you value your lives? It’s time you had the fear of death put back into you!

(Zaxon defeated)

Zaxon: No… I’ll not surrender… Not like…this…

(After the battle)

Alm: We’ve emerged victorious, but… the survivors will be making their way back to the main force. We can’t rest on our laurels now. Wouldn’t you agree, Clive?

Clive: …Hmm? Oh, yes. Quite.

Alm: What is it? You look shaken. …Oh, right. Forgive me. You and Fernand were good friends.

Clive: No, it’s not that… Well, it’s not JUST that… In any case, it’s nothing you need trouble yourself with. If you’ll excuse me.

Alm: What’s with him?

Forest Crossroads

Lukas: A moment please, Alm. I have a fresh report from our scouts. Apparently, the enemy’s main force has retreated west through the forest. But before we give chase, we should deal with Desaix. It wouldn’t be wise to pass him by while his fortress lies in reach.

Alm: All right, that makes sense. But listen, Lukas… Do you know anything about the Rigelian general Fernand mentioned? Berkut, I believe it was?

Lukas: Lord Berkut, yes. I am no stranger to the rumors, at least. They say he is about your age. A talented young general of royal blood… It’s no wonder Fernand is so smitten with him.

Alm: Yeah… Does it really matter so much where you’re born or who your father was?

Lukas: I beg your pardon?

Alm: Oh—sorry, I was just… I don’t meant to speak ill of nobles or anything.

Lukas: Well, I should hope not. Your own grandfather was a count, after all.

Alm: Yeah, I know, but…

Clive: …… Enough of this talk. Alm, beyond this forest lies a great army— you shouldn’t trouble yourself with anything but the battles ahead.

Alm: You’re right, Clive. I apologize.

Clive: ……

(As the battle begins)

Berkut: As I live and breathe… The Deliverance! Well, this is simply delightful.

Alm: Huh?! Fernand! And who’s this?

Berkut: My name is Berkut. I am nephew to His Majesty Emperor Rudolf.

Alm: So here he is…

Berkut: Alm, was it? I must say, I was most impressed by the battle at Zofia Castle. I nearly mistook that motley band of rustics you were leading for an army.

Clive: What are you doing here? Your main force has retreated.

Fernand: Lord Berkut longs for sport and wishes to test your might.

Berkut: I’ve gone too long without fighting and felt I needed a spot of practice. Now then…do try to make this little exercise worth my time!

Alm: Gods, he’s charging right at us!

(Berkut attacks Alm)

Berkut: Hah! What’s the matter, farmboy? Afraid you won’t land a single blow?

Alm: The name is Alm—not “farmboy.”

Berkut: Oh, my mistake. Wait a second…

(The fighting ends)

Berkut: That mark on your left hand… Where did that come from?

Alm: What do you care?! Are you here to fight or not?

Berkut: No… It cannot be the Brand. Not on one as unremarkable as you. It must be false. Just like its bearer!

(Versus Berkut)

Berkut: Come then! Are you going to entertain me or not?

(Berkut defeated)


Berkut: They’re stronger than I thought… But no… I came here to be entertained, not to give up my life.

(Versus Fernand)

Fernand: I needn’t test you as Lord Berkut does. I already know how pathetic you are!

(Fernand defeated)

Fernand: Careless… But next time will be different.

(After the battle)

Alm: I’m not quite sure how we just pulled that off… There were only three of them—how did they give us so much trouble?

Clive: Rigel may be stronger than I first believed… What if this IS a mistake?

Alm: Did you say something, Clive?

Clive: …It was nothing. Come, we must plan our siege of Desaix’s fortress. An ally of ours is being held there, and we must rescue her.

Alm: …You’re talking about Mathilda, right? I heard what happened. She’s…special to you, isn’t she?

Clive: She is. We promised to share a future together. And because of that promise, she has suffered for far too long. It relieves me to know she will soon be free of this burden.

Alm: I’m glad to hear it. And you know I’ll do everything I can to help!

Clive: Thank you, Alm.